A dozen student-athletes at a Virginia high school were suspended for a year for alleged locker room misconduct, but many in the community believe the punishment is too extreme.
The school system says it learned in March of the "allegations of misconduct involving some of its student-athletes” at Culpeper High School. It would not comment more specifically about the disciplinary actions or the nature of the alleged misconduct.
“A 365-day suspension is excessive,” parent Traci Johnson said.
If the accusations are serious, the school at least should communicate the severity to parents, Johnson said. Otherwise, she worries it will do more harm than good.
"They are potentially ruining their futures, especially our children who are juniors that have colleges coming to look at them, some of them Division 1 colleges,” Johnson said.
Her daughter, Culpeper junior Breglyne Johnson, said it feels like a witch hunt. She said the alleged misconduct is not serious for criminal charges. She has made more than 300 wristbands showing support for the suspended students and handed them out to supporters.
The parents of the accused student-athletes didn’t want to talk to News4 as they’re still in the midst of appeals.
News4 reached out to the Culpeper CountySheriff’s Office but hasn’t heard back.